PREVIEW - Blinken To Visit India, Kuwait This Week To Discuss Regional Security

PREVIEW - Blinken to Visit India, Kuwait This Week to Discuss Regional Security

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 26th July, 2021) US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will on Monday depart for a three-day trip to India and Kuwait where he will hold meetings with senior officials on regional security issues, including on the situation in Afghanistan.

Blinken will begin his trip on Monday evening when he leaves for New Delhi, India, where he is set to arrive late on Tuesday and then participate in meetings with officials on Wednesday. The secretary of state is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi along other senior officials and is expected to discuss cooperation in the areas of defense, cybersecurity and counterterrorism.

"In the Secretary's meetings with Prime Minister Modi and external Affairs Minister [Subrahmanyam] Jaishankar, we expect the discussions to focus on ways to further deepen our bilateral partnership... Our bilateral discussions with our Indian partners will focus on expanding our security, defense, cyber and counterterrorism cooperation," Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Dean Thompson said on Friday.

State Department spokesperson Ned price said Blinken and Jaishankar will discuss cooperation in the response to the coronavirus pandemic as well as the United States' engagement in the Indo-Pacific region and the nations' shared regional security concerns, including democratic values and climate change.

One shared regional security issue that officials expect to be on the agenda is Afghanistan. Thompson said the US government is looking at talking with Indian partners about how they can cooperate to bring the parties together and achieve a negotiated political settlement to end the war in Afghanistan.

Price said Blinken will then travel to Kuwait City later on Wednesday to meet with senior Kuwaiti officials. They will discuss the bilateral issues that "underscore the importance of our 60 years of diplomatic ties," he added.

The two countries are currently working on setting up a US-Kuwait strategic dialogue in the near future, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Arabian Peninsula Affairs Daniel Benaim said on Friday.